“The Power and Blessing of Revival”, Teachings and Quotes from Spurgeon, Lloyd-Jones, Piper, E.M.Bounds (The Holy Spirit, Humility)

The Power And Blessing of Revival

Andrew Murray said that “The coming revival must begin with a great revival of prayer. It is in the closet, with the door shut, that the sound of abundance of rain will first be heard”.

We stand before God knowing that before Him, nothing will be impossible. We are deeply aware that of our own power, we can do nothing yet with Him we live and move amidst the Miraculous. Revival and humility go hand and hand. We yield to God’s will, place our hearts before him and we pray to be equipped and given courage. The purpose of receiving the blessings of revival is to bless others and to be stewards for His glory.

E.M. Bounds on Revival~

“A revival of real praying would produce a spiritual revolution.”

“To look back upon the progress of the divine kingdom upon earth is to review revival periods which have come like refreshing showers upon dry and thirsty ground, making the desert to blossom as the rose, and bringing new eras of spiritual life and activity just when the Church had fallen under the influence of the apathy of the times.”

Martin Lloyd Jones on Revival~

“We can define it as a period of unusual blessing and activity in the life of the Christian Church. Revival means awakening, stimulating the life, bringing it to the surface again. It happens primarily in the Church of God, and amongst believing people, and it is only secondly something that affects those that are outside also. Now this is a most important point, because this definition helps us to differentiate, once and for all, between a revival and an evangelistic campaign…

The essence of a revival is that the Holy Spirit comes down upon a number of people together, upon a whole church, upon a number of churches, districts, or perhaps a whole country. That is what is meant by revival. It is, if you like, a visitation of the Holy Spirit, or another term that has often been used is this–an outpouring of the Holy Spirit.

What the people are conscious of is that it is as if something has suddenly come down upon them. The Spirit of God has descended into their midst, God has come down and is amongst them. A baptism, an outpouring, a visitation. And the effect of that is that they immediately become aware of His presence and of His power in a manner that they have never known before….

And what does that mean? Well, there are general characteristics which you will find in every revival that you can ever read about. The immediate effect is that the people present begin to have an awareness of spiritual things such as they have never had before.

They have heard all these things before, they may have heard them a thousand times, but what they testify is this: ‘You know, the whole thing suddenly became clear to me. I was suddenly illuminated, things that I was so familiar with stood out in letters of gold, as it were. I understood. I saw it all in a way that I had never done in the whole of my life.’ The Holy Spirit enlightens the mind and the understanding. They begin not only to see these things clearly but to feel their power…” Source: Martin Lloyd Jones on Revival

John Piper on Revival~

“In the history of the church, the term revival in its most biblical sense has meant a sovereign work of God in which the whole region of many churches, many Christians has been lifted out of spiritual indifference and worldliness into conviction of sin, earnest desires for more of Christ and his word, boldness in witness, purity of life, lots of conversions, joyful worship, renewed commitment to missions. You feel God has moved here. And basically revival, then, is God doing among many Christians at the same time or in the same region, usually, what he is doing all the time in individual Christian’s lives as people get saved and individually renewed around the world.” –John Piper

Charles Spurgeon on Revival~

“The word “revival” is as familiar in our mouths as a household word. We are constantly speaking about and praying for a “revival;” would it not be as well to know what we mean by it? Of the Samaritans our Lord said, “Ye worship ye know not what,” let him not have to say to us, “Ye know not what ye ask.” The word “revive” wears its meaning upon its forehead; it is from the Latin, and may be interpreted thus—to live again, to receive again a life which has almost expired; to rekindle into a flame the vital spark which was nearly extinguished.” –Charles Spurgeon

“If revival is confined to living men we may further notice that it must result from the proclamation and the receiving of living truth. We speak of “vital godliness,” and vital godliness must subsist upon vital truth. Vital godliness is not revived in Christians by mere excitement, by crowded meetings, by the stamping of the foot, or the knocking of the pulpit cushion, or the delirious bawlings of ignorant zeal; these are the stock in trade of revivals among dead souls, but to revive living saints other means are needed. Intense excitement may produce a revival of the animal, but how can it operate upon the spiritual, for the spiritual demands other food than that which stews in the fleshpots of mere carnal enthusiasm.

The Holy Ghost must come into the living heart through living truth, and so bring nutriment and stimulant to the pining spirit, for so only can it be revived. This, then, leads us to the conclusion that if we are to obtain a revival we must go directly to the Holy Ghost for it, and not resort to the machinery of the professional revival-maker. The true vital spark of heavenly flame comes from the Holy Ghost, and the priests of the Lord must beware of strange fire. There is no spiritual vitality in anything except as the Holy Spirit is all in all in the work; and if our vitality has fallen near to zero, we can only have it renewed by him who first kindled it in us. We must go to the cross and look up to the dying Savior, and expect that the Holy Spirit will renew our faith and quicken all our graces. We must feed anew by faith upon the flesh and blood of the Lord Jesus, and so the Holy Ghost will recruit our strength and give us a revival. When men in India sicken in the plains, they climb the hills and breathe the more bracing air of the upper regions; we need to get nearer to God, and to bathe ourselves in heaven, and revived piety will be the sure result.” –Charles Spurgeon

“Father, for thy promised blessing,
Still we plead before thy throne;
For the time of sweet refreshing
Which can come from thee alone.

“Blessed earnests thou hast given,
But in these we would not rest,
Blessings still with thee are hidden,
Pour them forth, and make us blest.

“Wake thy siren bering children, wake them,
Bid them to thy harvest go;
Blessings, O our Father, make them;
Round their steps let blessing flow.

“Let no hamlet be forgotten,
Let thy showers on all descend;
That in one loud blessed anthem,
Myriads may in triumph blend.”

Hymn “Father for Thy Promised Blessing” by Albert Midlane






	

“The Wind Blows Where It Wills”, By O. Palmer Robertson (The Holy Spirit, In Creation, In Redemption)

The Wind Blows Where it Wills

by O. Palmer Robertson

Who has seen the wind?
Neither you nor I.
But when the trees bow down their heads,
The wind is passing by.

This little poem for children by Christina G. Rossetti captures at once something of the wonder of the wind, as well as the concreteness of its work. The wind is never seen but is clearly known by its work.

Jesus Himself compared the will of the wind to the work of God’s Spirit (John 3:8). Those who have seen His work know His reality. And yet, very little of the Spirit’s work is properly recognized by God’s people today. As a consequence, too much concentration focuses on the subjective experience of the Spirit rather than the broader dimensions of His reality. So the present article focuses first on the objective work of the Spirit, and then on His subjective work.

The Wondrous Work of the Holy Spirit Outside the Believer

First, the Holy Spirit created and sustains all life. Equally with the Father and the Son, the Holy Spirit is the source of this universe and all that is in it. The creation narrative of Genesis informs us that “the Spirit of God hovered over the waters.” Just as an eagle “broods” over its nest to bring forth life, so the Spirit of God served as the life-infusing agent at creation (Gen. 1:2Deut. 32:11). When the psalmist speaks of the earth as being “full of creatures” and the sea “teeming with creatures beyond number,” he declares: “When you send your Spirit they are created, and you renew the face of the earth” (Ps. 104:30; see also 24–25). The molecules, the atoms that constitute everything in this earth, and the gravitational forces that bind the world together all derive their functioning power from the sovereign creating and sustaining Spirit.

Not only in creation, but also in the accomplishment of redemption, the Spirit of God plays a primary role. For apart from His marvellous, mysterious work, there would have been no incarnation of the Son of God. The Spirit was the one who caused the conception of Jesus in the womb of the virgin. Dr. Luke reports the results of his careful investigations. The Holy Spirit came upon the virgin Mary, and the power of the Most High overshadowed her (Luke 1:35). So apart from the Spirit there would have been no incarnate Savior.

So the objective working of the Holy Spirit in creation and redemption deserves careful attention. This great God the Spirit, this all-powerful person of the Godhead, must be appreciated for all that He is and does. He is not a milque toast will-o’-the-wisp who only comes as a divine after-thought in the progress of redemption. From creation to consummation He is the Great One who continually performs wonders.

The Wondrous Work of the Holy Spirit Within the Believer

In similar fashion, the scope of the Spirit’s work within the life of the redeemed must be appreciated in all its fullness. Note well seven works of the Spirit among the elect, the favored of the Lord:

  • First, the Spirit regenerates. How often have the clear words of Jesus been misunderstood! People universally re-write “You must be born again” so that the phrase reads instead, “You must born yourself again!” Not only does this mis-interpretation make no sense grammatically (an intransitive verb has no object); it makes nonsense of a profound spiritual truth. Just as you did nothing to cause yourself to be born into this fallen world, so you can do absolutely nothing to bring yourself into the divinely renewed world of redemption. You must be born “of the Spirit” (John 3:5, 8). You cannot even coerce the Spirit of God to effect your regeneration.

The wind blows where it will — and it is the Spirit’s will, not yours, that causes a person to be born from above (John 3:3). Indeed, if your will is renewed by the regeneration of the Spirit, you will choose to cry out to God for salvation, just as the newborn baby cries out once born. But give the divine Spirit the glory He deserves! Your cry for salvation comes as a consequence of your new birth, and never could be the cause of regeneration. The Spirit Himself sovereignly does this great work of total renewal.

  • Second, the Spirit assures. You keep on sinning even after you have been born again, don’t you? So how can you be so sure that you are a child of God?

You can be so bold because the Spirit within you attests directly to your spirit that you are a son of God. In this most wondrous of works, “the Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are the sons of God” (Rom. 8:16). Nothing less than the Spirit’s constant working could keep the sinner certain of his salvation. But who would dare contradict the solemn witness of God’s own Spirit? Because of His personal testimony within your own spirit, you can be at peace. Be assured. If His witness is there, you are a son of God.

  • Third, the Spirit seals. The gummed seals we use today on an ordinary letter are not so impressive. They can be easily ignored and violated. But in the days of old, dripped wax with an official stamp of the king made it a perilous thing to break the royal seal.

So the Regal Spirit seals every believer in the possession of all the blessings of redemption. In this case, it is the seal of the King of kings that cannot be broken. Beyond making you certain at the present moment that you have been redeemed, the Holy Spirit seals you in the permanent possession of your salvation.

For “having believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance” until the day of Christ’s return (Eph. 1:13b, 14a). It is a settled fact. His sealing work cannot be undone — all “to the praise of his glory” (Eph. 1:14b).

  • Fourth, the Spirit sanctifies. The apostle Paul uses a strange comparison and contrast to describe this work of the Spirit. “Be not drunk with wine, but be filled with the Spirit,” he admonishes (Eph. 5:18). So what happens when a person gets drunk? Well, the alcohol of the “spirits” gets into his bloodstream and permeates every part of his person. He walks differently and talks differently, and he sees, hears, and acts differently.

So is the experience of everyone who is “filled” with the Spirit. God’s holiness, the holiness of the Holy Spirit, permeates every part of his person. He goes happily to places of worship, praise, and prayer — places he would not otherwise go. He talks boldly about Jesus the Christ. To abuse, he responds with love.

This experience of being filled with the Spirit is not something that happens once and then is done. The phrase literally reads, “Be being filled with the Spirit.” Constantly, continually, more and more extensively, be permeated in all you think, say, and do by the abiding influence of the divine Spirit. It’s the greatest possible experience of life.

  • Fifth, the Spirit brings forth fruit in the life of every believer. And what a fruit it brings forth! No less than nine specific products of the Spirit are listed (Gal. 5:22, 23). But even for the first three of these fruits the world would give its all: “LOVE, JOY, PEACE.” But little do they know that it is only the indwelling Holy Spirit of God that is capable of producing true love, joy, and peace within the sinner’s heart. He can and will do it when no one and nothing else can.
  • Sixth, the Spirit distributes gifts. Never has every believer received all the gifts, but every believer in every age has received some gift for ministering to others (1 Cor. 12:7–11). Sometimes it is asserted that unless a person has manifested the gift of “speaking in tongues,” he cannot have been baptized by the Spirit. But Paul makes it very plain. Not all believers have received the gift of speaking in tongues, but all have been baptized into the one body of Christ by the Spirit (1 Cor. 12:13, 29–30).

Once in the age of the apostles, God gave the gifts necessary for providing a solid foundation of revealed truth to establish an infallible guide for the life of the church throughout the ages (Eph. 2:19–20). These gifts were essential for the grounding of the church on solid, unshakable revealed truth. But since this foundation has no need of being laid again in every new generation, these specific gifts related to new revelation have not been manifest since the days of the apostles.

Yet, to every single member of the body of Christ the Spirit gives spiritual capacities for ministering to others. For some, it is the gift to preach or to teach God’s Word (Eph. 4:11). For others, it is the gift of encouragement (Rom. 12:8a). For still others, it may be the gift of administration (Rom. 12:8b). No greater sense of fulfilment in life can be found than when you are using your spiritual gifts to the fullest. If you are a blessing to others, you know you are most fully blessed. And this most satisfying of experiences will come only through the outworking of God’s gifts, given to you by His Spirit.

  • Seventh, the Spirit empowers for worldwide witness. The resurrected Christ promised it: “You shall receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you, and you shall be my witnesses” to the world (Acts 1:8). The Spirit came on the day of Pentecost, and His power for witnessing to the world has been present ever since. For two thousand years, the Christian Gospel has continued to spread to every continent and nation.

By the coming of the Spirit of God into your life, you are empowered to give a worldwide witness, as well as a local witness, by your praying, your testifying, your giving, and your going. How great a privilege it is to be the instrument of witness to the whole world by the power of Christ’s Spirit.

So the Spirit does a great work, both without and within. A proper appreciation of His mighty deeds should stir up a spirit of submission and praise. For He accomplishes far more than inspiring spontaneous utterances within the occasional assemblies of believers. Creation, redemption, and consummation are all a part of the wondrous work of the Holy Spirit.

Dr. O. Palmer Robertson is the founder of Consummation Ministries. Previously, he was director and vice chancellor of African Bible College in Uganda. He is author of several books, including The Christ of the Covenants and The Christ of the Prophets.

Source: Tabletalk Magazine Online

“Whispering Winds”, a poem by L.Willows (Holy Spirit, Revival, Holy Joy, Hope)

Whispering Winds

Whispering winds dance
with treetops in clouds lace
Smiling in drifts
that go by without haste.

There in the dawn,
we witness God’s Face
Rising again,
from the night with such grace.

Windowsill’s light
and open with hope.
Therein, Hearts chatter
and sing the mornings elope.

Birds take to the air
in the new days excite.
Gathering with all –
God’s wondrous invite.

This Holy moment,
His Breath in the freeing-
The Joy that invites
all life to Love’s Being.

© 2021 Linda Willows

Romans 15:13 —May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.

John 16:24 —Until now you have asked nothing in my name. Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full.

Psalm 118:24 —This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.